The saying goes that we should always be a first rate original rather than a second rate copy. Google feels the same way about content. They want to see original content rather than the same thing used over and over. We have always been told not to use duplicate content in our website as this can create problems with the search engines. However, what is wrong with duplicate content? Why do search engines do not like duplicate content? What is Google’s stand on duplicate content? We’ve got the answers for all that today.
All the search engines strive to provide their users with the best results possible for their searches. They try to list the most appropriate pages for every given search and they also try hard to present the users with unique and distinctive pages that best suits the user search. They don’t always get it right, but they try. Still, examples of re-bloggers, scrapers etc.. outranking the original content poster are easy to find.
However, it is always best to keep your web pages unique. Even if you were to post the same content in multiple pages within your website, you need to either consolidate all the pages to a single page or post unique content in every page. This will not only keep your website in good books with Google but it will also enhance the user experience. Your website users may also not like to see the same content in every page of your website. Therefore it is highly recommended to provide unique content in each page.
Most webmasters have this confusion with RSS and content syndication. How does Google treat the same content syndicated through RSS feeds appearing in numerous pages? Google tries to choose the version that fits best the users search and it may not necessarily be the original version. Here the site’s ranking is not affected in any way. So Google does not weigh all types of duplicate content equally and blindly.
If you want to post duplicate content you can without penalty. You can make use of no-index meta tag to block Google from indexing the duplicate content. If you do not like to use no-index meta tag, then it is best to come with unique content for each page. Of course if you don’t care about PR or rank at all and are pleased with whatever traffic you get from other sources, it doesn’t matter much.